HELP YOUR CHILDREN GROW AND LEARN

A healthy, nutritious diet helps children grow and learn. It also helps prevent weight-related diseases, such as diabetes and obesity. Children need different amounts of specific nutrients at different ages. They need to eat three meals daily and have healthy snacks in between. The more active your child is, the more calories he or she needs. Here are some ways to encourage your child to follow a nutritious diet:

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SODIUM AND YOUR HEALTH

Sodium is an essential mineral for life. It is regulated in the body by the kidneys. It helps control the body’s fluid balance, affects muscle function and helps send nerve impulses. An Australian study showed the brain responds to sodium in the same way it responds to substances such as cocaine and heroin, which may explain why we tend to overindulge in high-sodium foods.

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HEALTHY EATING TIPS

A balanced healthy diet should contain a variety of nutritious foods and sufficient vitamins and minerals. Such a diet can help you maintain a healthy body weight and reduce your risk of many diet-related problems, such type 2 diabetes, cardiovascular disease and some cancers. It’s recommended men have around 2,500 calories a day and women 2,000 calories a day. Studies indicate eating a typical Western diet filled with packaged meals, takeout foods, processed meats and sugary snacks may lead to stress, high rates of depression....

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13. Add flavor when cooking dishes by using herbs and spices such as rosemary and cloves — they give added zest to dishes.


14. Use skim milk in place of cream when cooking. Instead of chocolate chips, try using dried fruit. Use condiments such as vanilla and peppermint to enhance the flavor of various foods.


Here’s a diabetes-friendly  recipe to try:


Oven-Roasted Squash with Garlic and Parsley


•  5 pounds winter squash

•  2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided

•  1 1/2 teaspoon salt

•  1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

•  3 cloves minced garlic

•  2 tablespoon chopped Italian parsley


Toss squash with 4 teaspoons of oil, salt and 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Spread evenly on a large baking sheet. Roast at 375 degrees, stirring occasionally until tender throughout and lightly browned, 30 to 45 minutes. Heat the remaining 2 teaspoon of oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and cook, stirring until fragrant but not brown, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Toss the roasted squash with garlic and parsley.


(Source: www.eatingwell.com)

Although you may be battling diabetes, you still want to have a tasty but healthy holiday. How can you plan a good diet that will not compromise your diabetes? Here are some holiday hints that are meant for the person with diabetes but are appropriate for everyone:


1.  Plan your holiday around friends and family. Catch up with loved ones you haven’t seen in a while. After dinner on Christmas Day, take a walk with nieces and nephews or play a game. Do not put the focus on food.


2.  Bring a dish to the family gathering. Make it one of your healthier choices. Offer to bring a green vegetable.


3.  Stay active. Sometimes exercise is forgotten over the holidays. Plan time into each day for exercise. Engage in physical activity with friends and family, such as participating in a charity run or walk.


4.  Drink in moderation or not at all. Holiday drinks add a significant wallop to your calorie count, so be careful.


5.  Eat something before dinner to prevent low blood sugar levels.


6.  Approach meals with mindfulness. Eat slowly and savor each bite.

14 HINTS FOR A FESTIVE HOLIDAY

JEAN JEFFERS

Jean is an RN with an MSN from University of Cincinnati. She is a staff writer for Living Well 60 Plus and Health & Wellness magazines.

more articles by jean jeffers

7.  Try healthier versions of your favorite holiday fare. Use apple sauce in place of some of the sugar when baking; steam green beans; and try putting less sugar in fruit pies.


8.  If you want to nibble while preparing meals, overindulge in vegetables.


9.  Don’t pile up your plate with high-carb foods; sample only some of a few dishes. Or have a reasonable portion of your favorite and bypass the remainder. If you must try everything, put only a spoonful of each dish on your plate.


10. Watch your portion sizes, whether you’re eating in a home or a restaurant.


11. Do you want some of Grandpa’s eggnog? The American Heart Association says you can fill your glass half to three-quarters full with low-fat or skim milk and one part eggnog.


12. Pass on that huge dollop of whipped cream to avoid extra sugar.